Mark your calendars and ready your screens to join a cadre of international LGBTQ folks for the first world-wide Global Pride, a virtual event scheduled on Saturday, 27 June, 2020, after hundreds of Pride celebrations were cancelled or postponed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Utilizing online platforms Global Pride aims to create a digital Pride that everyone can participate in, regardless of where they are riding out the pandemic and widespread quarantine lockdowns. Just like a real-world Pride, organizers are determined the virtual Pride will offer live (streamed) musical performances, empowering speeches, and angry activists. (No word yet if they’ll allow protests or work out ways for attendees to march via virtual reality programs.)
InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association – the world’s two biggest international Pride networks – are collaborating on this project with national organizations in Canada, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and regional networks in southern Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America, to bring our diverse communities together for an international day of Pride.
“We need community and connection more than ever,” J. Andrew Baker, Co-President of Interpride said in a statement to the press. “Pride 2020 represents a milestone for Pride events, with many honoring the 50th anniversary of their first gatherings and marches…and we would not let that pass without recognition and celebration.”
Kristine Garina, President of the European Pride Organisers Association and Chair of Baltic Pride in Riga, Latvia, added: “The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 mean that most Prides will not take place as planned in 2020, but we’re determined that this won’t stop us from coming together as a united, strong LGBTQIA+ community to celebrate who we are and what we stand for.”
“Annual Pride events in the United States engage and unite 20 million people who gather to celebrate the strength and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community,” noted Ron deHarte, Co-President of the United States Association of Prides in the press release.
Organizers promise more details in the coming days and weeks, but already they have the support of Prides around the world.
“For OLA (Orgullo Latinoamericano), the Regional Network of Latin American Pride organizers, this project, in particular, has encouraged us to work closer and join efforts from all over the Latino diaspora with the Global Pride Movement to deliver hope and solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Emmanuel Temores, Co-Chair of OLA.
Some locations are still moving ahead with their own plans for a physical Pride, for example, Fort Lauderdale, Florida has pushed the inagural Pride of the Americas, an event expected to draw 300,000 LGBTQ visitors from across North, Central, and South America, to later this year.
Others aren't certain yet how they'll integrate the Global Pride event into their own plans. For example, New York City's Pride organizers tell Out Traveler, "NYC Pride is thrilled to hear about the exciting virtual event that InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association have in store for the world as a result of the continuing health crisis. As a proud member of InterPride, we are excited about #globalpride2020 and will determine our participation once our local decisions have been made. Please stay tuned."
Pride is not simply another fabulous rainbow party but a homage to the defiance and resistance that launched our movement five decades ago. Organizers say a Global Pride is an opportunity to reiterate the intersectionality of our causes: pursuing LGBTQ rights; ending violence against our community; and fighting gender discrimination, racism, sexism, classism, colonialism, and the destruction of our planet via the climate crisis.
Dana Marsh, President of Fierté Canada Pride, stated: “It’s easy to feel isolated right now… We must show that our global movement will persist, even when faced with new and unexpected challenges. Prides across Canada look forward to connecting with Two-Spirit/Indigenous, LGBTQIA+ communities from around the globe. Pride lives in us all.”
The virtual Pride dovetails with efforts here at Pride Media, where editors from Out Traveler (OutTraveler.com), Out (Out.com), TheAdvocate (Advocate.com), and PRIDE.com, will be launching a Pride 365 initiative featuring Pride-related video and editorial content throughout the year. As Diane Anderson-Minshall, Pride Media CEO and editorial director, puts it, "Pride doesn't require a parade. Pride is inside us."
"In times of uncertainty, the LGBTQ+ community has always demonstrated a resilience that’s unmatched," Anderson-Minshall continues. "And throughout the disruption presented by Covid-19, as we look ahead to celebrating Pride at home together, our community’s resilience becomes more important and visible than ever. Pride has always been more than just a march, a parade, or a festival. Pride is a feeling, an empowering emotion, and an invitation for unity which we can experience — and celebrate — every day of the year. And we need it most in moments like this."
Pride organizations from around the world are encouraged to participate in Global Pride.